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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Blairmont, VHS Partners share address with McKee's companies

The July 15 Quarterly Report of the Jordan W. Chambers 19th Ward Regular Democratic Organization reveals some interesting information about its contributors. Namely, that the following contributors, all real estate holding companies, share the same address:

N & G Ventures LC
Noble Development Company
VHS Partners LLC
McEagle Properties LLC
West Alton Holding Company LLC
Oakland Properties, Inc.
Blairmont Associates Limited Company

That address is 1001 Boardwalk Springs Place in O'Fallon, Missouri -- pretty damn far from north St. Louis. 1001 Boardwalk Springs Place is the address of the largest office building in the sprawling ersatz New Urbanist WingHaven development. This also happens to be the mailing address for Paric Corporation and McEagle Development, the well-known companies founded by wealthy developer Paul McKee, Jr. (Paric is now led by McKee's son Joe.)

Readers know that we have detailed the adventurous purchases of rogue real estate companies Blairmont Associates LC and VHS Partners LLC, and that we along with other northsiders have been wondering what the hell these silent speculators have been trying to do in our neighborhoods. But few people would have known that Blairmont and VHS shared an address with these other companies, because both Blairmont and VHS were registered anonymously and their only known agents were Harvey Noble and Steve Goldman of Eagle Realty Company and Roberta M. Defiore. Even fewer would have known the links between Blairmont, VHS, Noble Development Company and N & G Ventures. Without seeing this report, I would have never learned of this additional entity or of the definite link with McKee's enterprises. Campaign finance disclosure again proves to be a valuable democratic tool. Together, these four companies own 244 north side properties and hold an option to buy one city-owned parcel:

Blairmont: 82
VHS Partners: 101
N & G Ventures: 58 plus one option
Noble Development Company: 3

The holdings of these companies are geographically confined: most are in the 63106 zip code and the a well-defined southern part of the 63107 zip code; all are in either Ward 5 or Ward 19; nearly every property is a vacant lot, with only a handful of vacant buildings in the inventory. (Although we know that they did attempt to trick a legally-blind woman into selling her own house to them.)

The question remains: What exactly is the tie with McKee? Perhaps he's just their landlord... Really, what is the link? And what is the plan for such a large area of the city?

The alternating silence and aggressive pursuit of properties by the entities at 1001 Boardwalk Springs Place is disturbing no matter how good their plan could be. These companies need to talk to their neighbors, who are very worried about the intentions and methods behind these companies. Consensus is built through communication; suspicion grows through silence.


Anonymous said...

This is quite disturbing. As a passionate city resident and booster, and one who respects the history of this city and hurts inside each time a piece of this history is lost, this bothers me. McEagle is NOT known for their urban development, and Winghaven is absolutely hideous.

I know someone from McEagle and will see what I can find out from an "insider".

Anonymous said...

Have any of these entities or their associates made contributions to Slay, Ford-Griffin or McMillan? Such info may be telling of truly how "insider" a future development might be.

Anonymous said...

The following contributions to Slay for Mayor 2005 are listed:

McEagle Properties LLC: $175.00 (11/20/04)

Paul McKee: $1,200.00 (12/13/04)

(Spurce: http://www.mec.mo.gov/Scanned/PDF/2005/9438.pdf)

Anonymous said...

The companies seem to be gathering real estate to reach a critical mass and then start to build on them, probably residences since that seems to be their stock and trade.

While I can appreciate the concern about the lack of communication, I would cut them some slack and wait until they start applying for building permits.

I am a newcomer to this board, but I am probably in the minority when I say that I am of mixed mind when it comes to the development like the one feared. The North Side has had population drain for many years. The developers seem to be willing to put actual money into building houses to get residents back in the area. Is getting residents in the area worth that kind of development?

I don't see any kind of serious rennaissance happening on the North Side any time soon. Less than optimal development may be the best chance.

Anonymous said...

^ this comment shows some real lack of first hand experience.

There is a tremendous amount of development happening all through north St. Louis, both residential and commercial.

Sometimes, I think people with little direct knowledge can make sweeping pronouncements about the north side as if they are some sort of authority.

Better be sure before you apply your broad brush.

Anonymous said...

I have no direct knowledge, that is correct; I do not live/work on the North Side.

I will say that the census figures do not note a tremendous uptick in population on the northside.

Populationwise, the region is static, the city is static. Movement in the city tends to be north to south, not the other way around.

I wish all parts of the city had bustling development, and the North Side certainly has some, but the North Side is not leading the charge when it comes to gaining population. It has great potential in that a great number of people left, but I don't see that potential realized, and I don't know when it will be realized.

Is there evidence out there that I am missing [and I open to being wrong] that shows the North Side as out-pacing the South Side and Central Corridor as a destination for residents/jobs?

Anonymous said...

your first post said nothing about:

"leading the charge" or "outpacing the south side or central corridor",

it just said

"I don't see any kind of serious rennaissance happening on the North Side any time soon. Less than optimal development may be the best chance."

Off the top of my head, I can think of hundreds of units of new housing development recently completed or underway in North City, most dramatic of which is the wonderful rehab of Homer G. Phillips in the Ville.

Some might consider that project alone serious renaissance. It's about the same scale as the City Hospital development in Lafayette Square.

Anonymous said...

I guess we will have to wait five years to see if the North Side has increased or decreased in population. Call me unrealistic, but that is my baseline. Is the area attractive enough for people to vote with their feet, and their dollars, to move there? If there are other baseline measures, I have open ears.

There is development on the North Side, but I do not think it is abudundant, or 'tremendous', enough to seriously increase the population/jobs base of the area.

I do believe that the population loss of the area has slowed, but I will not be singing Hosannahs until it actually increases.

When I said rennaissance sp?, I meant that there is positive population growth/activity. The development going on now seems to replace the development that is no longer being used. It is unclear to me, noting the population figures, whether the replacement rate is keeping up.

The potential new development, if at all executed, may or may not turn the tide, if it needs to be turned at all.

Anonymous said...

The city has seen recent population increases in amounts approaching 25,000 or more. Some think think the low water mark was hit 4 or 5 years ago, and now things are trending positive.

More and more people are seriously looking at the north side as a place to live and invest.

Old North St. Louis and the West End are two areas seeing major new housing developments.

You may want to "wait five years", but from the looks of things, the corner is being turned right now.